Matt O’Shaughnessy Interviews Megadeth's David Ellefson in an exclusive interview

Megadeth's David Ellefson - The Iconic Bassist Speaks To Matt O’Shaughnessy about The Band's Co-Headline Tour With Rob Zombie, The Origin Of The Group And More! In an exclusive interview for

Megadeth's charismatic and always enlightening bassist, David Ellefson, recently checked in from the band's home of sunny Arizona where he and Dave Mustaine, Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover are again preparing to unleash more Megadeth devastation and heavy metal wrath to the masses.  This time in the form of a three - and- a-half week stint of co-headline dates with Rob Zombie.

All this from a band that monumentally helped pioneer and invented a unique and thriving brand of American Heavy Metal since forming in 1983 from humble and modest origins. 

This is the third opportunity David Ellefson and I have had to talk all things Megadeth as the band's latest album, Thirteen, continues to assault the world and garner more critical international praise.

Fans got to witness 'Deth' in full force at the now historic Big 4 shows and then the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival and of course, Gigantour rolled into town all guns blazing. 

Now, as the mighty Megadeth gear up for some highly-touted co-headline dates with Rob Zombie which kick off imminently, we spoke with David Ellefson about the tour and more in an ever candid and sweeping chat.

Matt O'Shaughnessy:  What are your feelings on the co-headline tour with Rob Zombie?   

David Ellefson:  This is a cool tour!  It’s a great time to be out on the road.  It's gonna be nice to be out in May.  It's still, weather-wise, going to be great.  Playing with Rob; he obviously has his own great sound and style which is very different than what we do in Megadeth. Where, as when we did the Big 4 or we toured with Slayer, there's maybe a similar style or fan base. This is something very different. So it kind of sets it up nice that you can get such contrast.  We are obviously going to be playing the latest record, Thirteen, and then we've got a few we always reach to because they are fan favorites.

Matt O'Shaughnessy: How long will Megadeth be on the road with Rob?

David Ellefson:  It's only about three and a half weeks, wrapping up May 26th at Rocklahoma in Pryor, Oklahoma.

Matt O'Shaughnessy: Megadeth fans witnessed the band's metal prowess at the now historic Big 4 shows, and on The Rock Star Energy Mayhem Festical, and, of course, Gigantour. Was it easy to find time to actually make and create your latest album, "Thirteen"?

David Ellefson:  It's a funny thing ya know.  We had to carve a window of time out where we could actually make Thirteen. Because there's been such high demand for the band touring right now and for the last several years, especially the last two or three years, It's kind of like years ago we'd make records and then we would go on tour; now it's like were perpetually on tour and we have to find time to make records!

Matt O'Shaughnessy: David...and yet again, Megadeth will continue to keep busy on the road!

David Ellefson:  Yes! We go to Europe in June for the month and we do mostly festivals over there.  It's a big season for the big outdoor shows throughout Europe.  Then we just started putting dates up for South America in September which will include us playing the Countdown to Extinction record in honor of its twentieth year anniversary.  We're going to play that album from top to bottom!

Matt O'Shaughnessy:  How time flies!

David Ellefson:  It does!  As the saying goes, I don't feel that old!  It's funny, when you do this all the time... time just goes by.  It's great to go back and re-visit some of these records. I've stayed up on my chops. Continually, once in a while I'll put the cd in (Countdown to Extinction) and jam with it.

Matt O'Shaughnessy: Megadeth came roaring out of the legendary San Francisco Bay area scene. Now you're based in Arizona. The scene on the west coast has changed some hasn't it?

David Ellefson: It's definitley different! When I got to Los Angeles in 83' and I met Dave because that's where he landed after Metallica. He went back to Los Angeles because he grew up in down in the Huntington Beach area. Hollywood had a much different flavor. Randy Rhodes had gotten discovered by Ozzy out of there. Motley Crue was breaking. Wasp and Ratt were coming on the scene too.  The feel down in southern California was exciting but it was not the music we were playing. Dave Mustaine said Megadeth is not going to play down here, so we went up to the Bay area and San Francisco was just ferocious and alive with what we now know as thrash metal. It was a more organic sound and look. It was fast, it was furious. But it was much more cohesive as far as bands that just loved to rip and play fast! It was just such great brotherhood; you know Exodus, Metallica and Megadeth playing up there.

Matt O'Shaughnessy:  In retrospect, does the tremendous success Megadeth has earned seem surreal?  Or is it because you are musicians and this is what you've chosen to do and do it so well. How do you view it all?

David Ellefson:  You know, I think it's probably the latter.  I knew when I met Dave  Mustaine back in June of 1983, there was definitley something unique about him.  Los Angeles at that time was just littered with everybody wanting to be a rock star - some actually were.  And, you could tell Dave definitley had something different about him, and to partner up with him at that time and for us to start something brand new with Megadeth was a once in a lifetime experience!  I was just so blessed obviously that we were able to do it. Because bands are a partnership and it takes people that really catch the vision and are willing to make the sacrifices and I think more than anything - we put it all on the line.  It was sink or swim, make or break.  If you've got something and you've got faith in it, good things can come out of it. Maybe an American success story you can call it.

Matt O'Shaughnessy:  David, it's always great talking with you!  What would you like to say to all your diehard and loyal worldwide 'Deth bangers?

David Ellefson:  Well, I appreciate everybody hanging with us.  It's been a great ride! It's been a great journey.  The journey seems to be continuing. 

So, as long as you guys want to come out and see us...we'll keep playing for you!


Matt O’Shaughnessy

Matt O’Shaughnessy, Mr. Mayhem himself, DJ and On-Air personality extraordinaire hosts the hottest AM Heavy Metal Spotlight radio show on WVOX 1460 AM.


MATTHEW O'SHAUGHNESSY is New York's #1 On Air Personality who is on the cutting edge of the Rock & Roll Music Scene. Mat brings us new and provocative interviews and has his finger on the pulse of Metal.

Listen to his show Metal Mayhem on WVOX Live at 1640 AM or Streaming Live Online at

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